Why Google's Pixel 2 is unlike any other Android phone?

Danny D'Cruze   New Delhi     Last Updated: October 6, 2017  | 12:15 IST
Why Google's Pixel is like no other Android phone?

Why would anyone buy Google's Pixel if they can get the same stock operating system and specifications at half the price? A question every Pixel owner will ask before buying it.

With alternatives like OnePlus, and now even Nokia and Essential Phone, Google Pixel has a lot more competition than it had last year. Despite the price, Google won't offer Samsung's curved screen or iPhone X's edge to edge display which justifies their price point but what justifies the Pixel's price?

Evident by Google's event in San Francisco, the event was bigger than just Pixel phones. Unlike a Samsung or Apple event, the time spent on the device's internals was relatively short whereas there was a heavy emphasis on machine learning and software. Hardware specifications like processor, RAM, battery just got a flying mention.

Among the various products launched by Google on Wednesday, one thing in common was their reliance on Google Assistant. It was almost like Google Assistant was being launched on various platforms.

AI is definitely the next big thing after smartphones. A smartphone needs to be carried around but an AI can use any medium to provide its services.  Seemingly, this is what Google has in mind. This kind of innovation makes other manufacturers look myopic.

Google is one of the few companies that have the treasure of data that can set the ball rolling for a strong AI. While others seem to be catering to the current market demands, Google is preparing a market where it might hold dominion in future.

The Google Pixelbuds, for instance, look like any other wireless headphone but the use of AI in the buds makes it a real-time translator; something that still looks like it belongs in a bond movie. For now, these buds and this feature is exclusive to Pixel phones. 

The Google Lens was announced at Google I/O 2017 and during the Pixel event the company showcased its dramatic growth in the field and the possible applications. The Lens uses AI to detect images and provide relevant information. For instance, you scan a sticker on a router to directly connect to the home WiFi. Scanning a book will pop up results like reviews and stores.

Since Google Assistant uses a microphone that is constantly running to listen to the trigger phrase, the company also added an AI feature to it. If your phone detects music, it automatically flashes the name of the song on the screen and also provides links to stream or download it.
 
The Google Home series transforms normal living spaces into smart living spaces with minimum intrusion. The device can distinguish voice commands and respond contextually. A broadcast mode can send a message to all Google Home devices in house.

While all this is still far from perfect, the very nature of an AI is that it gets better with time. Google is making sure of that by expanding their ecosystem of smart devices. It will be interesting to see how other industrial leaders will react to such innovation.

 

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